NY lawsuit seeks to halt suspicionless searches

September 7, 2010

(AP) -- A New York lawsuit seeks to stop the government from snooping in the laptops, cell phones and cameras of international travelers when there is no probable cause.

Civil rights lawyers filed the federal lawsuit in Brooklyn on Tuesday against the as well as U.S. customs and immigration authorities. Officials did not immediately return a call for comment.

The lawsuit said more than 6,500 people have had their electronic devices searched as they crossed U.S. borders since October 2008. Nearly half of those searched were U.S. citizens.

It said that in May, a graduate student in Islamic Studies at McGill University in Montreal was detained for several hours as his were searched. The lawsuit said the encounter badly frightened the student.

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